SHE Rides: A Biker Portrait Series / by Abigail Ekue

She Rides book.jpg

 

My spirit told me it was time to start a new personal project. One where I could get lost in the process of creating, meeting new people, and learning about their world and experience. I have an interest in subcultures. I like to know how others live.

 

I'd always had an admiration for riders so I decided to focus on that population -- motorcyclists, cowboys, racers, equestrians... As long as the person rode on 2 wheels or 4 legs I was happy. 


In July, I faced my fear of horses. I visited a farm in Georgia and I fed Max, the hungry gelding. I was nervous, trembling and giddy all at once. But I didn’t take photos of Max or his trainer for the series. 


However, back in June, I was headed to Phoenix and a professional rodeo cowboy answered my call for models. We just had to decide if we'd do the shoot with her horse or her Harley. Unfortunately, she had some health issues come up so she passed my information on to a friend in Tucson. I told Caren Cooper via email I had no expectations for the shoot/series. I hadn’t even shot my first photo at that point so I'd be happy with whatever happened. I showed up at Big Sky Motorcycles in Tucson and 10 people were waiting for me. 

 

10 women.

 

That was the sign.


I haven't completely given up on the cowboy series idea. A few years ago, I met the CEO of RideTV in Vegas and he put the idea in my head for a docu-photo series of aging cowboys. He figured I could pull it off.

 

But for now, I'm having a lot of fun meeting #WomenWhoRide. They're encouraging and inspiring. They are huggers. They are welcoming.

 

If I were to ride with the women I've met so far, I know which would be my Road Mama, the one I'd share inside jokes with, and the woman who'd be my trick riding partner. I've had a lust for riding and the open road for a long time. I've been the back seat rider a few times (last week most recently). Maybe one day I'll ride my own. Until then I'll continue meeting awesome women for the SHE Rides series. Please come along for ride!

 

*   *   *